With the majority of mainstream professional wrestling promotions classifying as “sports entertainment” today, AEW has described themselves as more of a sports-based alternative.
Throughout its history, All Elite Wrestling has included other features into its programming to give off the appearance that their pro wrestling was more of a sport, rather than the performance art-style wrestling that companies such as WWE and IMPACT Wrestling produce. One of the top elements that is an example of this is the rankings system that AEW uses.
Since its launch in 2019, AEW has kept tallies on talents’ win/loss records, using the numbers to schedule bouts and set up AEW championship matches. However, the company hasn’t updated these figures since August, which has many speculating that AEW could be done with stats.
All Elite Wrestling owner Tony Khan spoke about the matter in an interview with ComicBook:
“I haven’t updated [the rankings] lately because I think so much has been fluid, coming out of the Grand Slam Tournament of Champions in particular.
It’s a fluid situation coming out of Grand Slam, and I think now I’m reevaluating it and quite possibly could bring them back soon, but certainly made a lot of changes for the better that led to our best ratings of the year in many ways because we really zoned in and have had, I think, a lot of our best shows in recent months.”
ROH, IWGP and AAA Tag Team Champions FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) have pointed out on multiple occasions that they should be No. 1 contenders for the AEW Tag Team Championship because of the promotion’s rankings, which has caused Tony Khan to, at least temporarily, push away from the numbers.
FTR hasn’t been granted a title shot at the AEW Tag Team Championship since December 8, 2021 on an episode of AEW Dynamite. Then, they would lose to The Lucha Bros., who were the Tag Team Champions at that time.
WWE also brought up the idea of a rankings system earlier this year in a survey to fans.